The Dreamshare Seer

Frequently Asked Questions

Information about The Dreamshare Seer Project

How do I share my description of my dream so that it can be translated into a visual animation by this tool?

It’s a simple process!
It’s free.
It’s anonymous.
From start to finish it only takes around 5-8 minutes to share your dream!

Simply, Register.

Enter your registered email address to receive a secure login Magic-Link to your mailbox. Then you can access your Dreamer account.
No password required!

(This link is valid for 12 weeks, granting direct access to your account, and you can log out at any time. If you log out you can log back in again using the emailed ‘Magic-Link’).

Then follow the instructions to share your dream description.
—————–

The dream visualisation process, in detail:

a) Register for your free account.  You will be given a randomly generated dreamer alias.
Please read the participation information, so that you know how we look after your data and how you can control your data.

b) Provide the approximate location where you dreamt your dream on the Isle of Sheppey, Kent, (UK), by selecting one of the island areas.
(This request won’t appear if you’re participating from beyond the Isle of Sheppey).

c) Describe whatever you can remember from your dream, within the text area, or by recording (or uploading) a voice memo for our AI system to transcribe it for you.

d) Answer a few additional short questions, (such as rating the ‘happiness level’ of your dream and identifying  the most important part of your dream, etc.).

e) Then submit your dream description to our Dreamshare Seer Visualiser. Within 24 hours it will process your dream, along with all the new dream descriptions from other participating dreamers.  These descriptions will be transformed into short visual animations.
Perhaps you might imagine this processing time as the digital tool needing to ‘wake’, (or maybe needing to ‘sleep and dream’) to be able to transform your words into their corresponding moving dream images.

f) You’ll receive an email with a link to your dream visualisation and, if you dreamt it on the Isle of Sheppey, a link to view it. This same email also allows you to approve it immediately to the Dream Library and the collective Dream Cloud, or to wait 72 hours for it enter these exhibition spaces automatically. Or you can delete it.

g) You can share multiple* dreams so sleep well, dream another dream, and start the process again!
*See FAQ:  Is there a limit to how many dreams I can share?

h) If you are unhappy with your dream visualisation, and perhaps want to try sharing it again, describing it differently, or if you prefer it not to be shared at all, you can delete your dream animation within the first three weeks of it being generated.

Is this digital tool exploring the dreams you have when you’re asleep? Or ‘dreams’ meaning ‘hopes’ or ‘wishes’?

We’re exploring the dreams we have during sleep. Upon waking our conscious minds can often remember these dreams, or at least parts of them. Dreams are also known as ‘sleep mentation’.

However, the word dreams is also frequently used to mean our ‘wishes’ or ‘hopes’ when we imagine an ideal future: e.g. That would be my dream job!

This project is just focused on the former meaning of ‘dream’; those mostly visual, often strange events, ideas, emotions, and sensations, that appear in our minds, outside of our control, when we’re fast asleep.
For more information, see FAQ: What are Dreams?

Nearly everyone dreams, every night, but some people find it difficult to remember their dreams.
See FAQ: What if I can only remember parts of my dream? Or: What if I don’t remember any of my dreams?

—————————————————-
For deeper research on the above subject, please also check out our Dream Resources page.

What if I can only remember parts of my dream? Or: What if I don’t remember any of my dreams?

We welcome you to try sharing even the haziest memory of part of your dream through The Dreamshare Seer. When you see its resulting brief visualisation it may help guide your memory towards other events or details within that dream.

Nearly everyone dreams every night, but some people find it difficult to remember their dreams.  Often we feel we can only recall the final few events at the end of a much longer dream, just before we wake.

The general advice for trying to remember your dreams better is to use a dream journal to write down those fleeting memories of your dream as you wake. The theory is that the more you practice this writing exercise, the more you will start to remember the content of your dreams.

We hope that The Dreamshare Seer will itself act as a new form of socialised dream journaling.  Through making a ritual of using it, and seeing your dreams visualised, you will, perhaps, develop an enhanced relationship with your nocturnal dreams. You may even begin remembering them more vividly.

Please visit our Dream Assistance page.
On it you’ll find various audio-works to help you enter an ideal, calm state for dreaming, and perhaps also for remembering those dreams!
There’s also information about Mugwort, a plant that can aid vivid, and therefore memorable, dreaming.

Why might it be good to see our dreams visualised and to share them with others in our community?

There are several reasons why it might be good to be able to see descriptions of our dreams transformed into visualisations.

Our dreams are another form in which our intelligence and knowledge appears. We can access aspects of this different type of thinking relatively simply and freely. (See FAQ: What are dreams?) Yet, in the Global North, despite most of us experiencing dreams throughout our lives, we mostly choose to ignore them!

There are many stories throughout history of people finding truth or guidance through a dream vision. By being able to reflect on our dreams, through trying to remember them, then describe them, and then seeing that description changed into moving image – through these series of translations and objectifications  – we can perhaps get closer to questioning what personal meaning they might have for us? How might they help us make sense of our present situation, aiding our self-understanding and emotional growth? As a mirror, how might they reveal what we keep hidden from ourselves in waking life?

There are benefits to our mental health when we externalise, ‘release’, and share our dream with others; social dreaming is a bonding experience (see: Mark Blagrove, Julia Lockheart et al.). We enhance our storytelling abilities when we try to communicate our often very strange and highly personal dreams.  In order to tell those dream stories well, in a way that feels subjectively accurate in resembling our memory of our dream, it requires us to develop empathy towards our audience, the viewers of our dream visualisation. The Dreamshare Seer also encourages a sense of empathy towards the AI!  How might we describe our dreams in such a way that algorithms can somehow show us what we alone see in our dreams?

Some of our dreams can be terrifying nightmares. Externalising them through this tool might help hold, contain or disperse feelings that might otherwise be experienced as unbearable.

Since this project both collects and presents those dream visualisations within the form of an exhibition, a permanent archive, a library, the dreams become collectively significant, celebrated and valued, a lasting testimony to the extraordinary imaginations of their dreamers. Through The Dreamshare Seer we hope to activate, democratise and make accessible dreaming’s amazing, involuntary, nocturnal creativity.

Dreaming, and  being able to remember those dreams, is dependent on us sleeping well.  If our dreams are valued perhaps we can also perceive our sleep as culturally valuable, beyond its necessity for our health and well-being.

Despite dreams being primarily visual experiences they have been mostly analysed and researched via verbal or written descriptions. However, The Dreamshare Seer focuses on what is seen in the dream.

Dreams are inherently diverse in what they draw together from our memories, within our minds, as we sleep. The Dreamshare Seer tool acts as a flow of connectivity, networking between different communities, audiences, histories, places and cultures, and between sleeping and waking, the private and public, and between the human and the more than human.  As such The Dreamshare Seer can be understood as being part of an evolving ecology, with dreaming at its centre.

The Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Carl Jung was very interested in the idea of a collective dreaming, coming from a collective unconscious.  Many indigenous cultures gather their dreams together socially, sharing their recent dreams with each other in order assemble this form of knowledge to make good practical or spiritual decisions as a group.  The Dreamshare Seer is also wondering whether our dreams, as a community, contain different aspects of knowledge that may somehow ‘fit together’ collectively – the sum of its parts – in order to offer us guidance.


For deeper research on the above subject, please also check out our Dream Resources page.

What is unique about The Dreamshare Seer, and what are we hoping to discover?

The Dreamshare Seer is a unique project in a number of ways:
Currently, (this tool was launched on 24.4.24) as far as we know (!) , there are no other free digital tools out there that create moving images from dream descriptions, and then archives them for public exploration. Dreams are primarily visual and immersive experiences. The purely verbal report of a dream therefore misses out on some of the key qualities of our dreams. We therefore hope that the visual focus of our dream tool will lead to some discoveries. For example, we hope to discover whether there are ‘feedback loops’: are your dreams changing as a result of using this visualisation tool?  Is the memory of your dreams improving through the practice of creating your dream descriptions?  Are you communicating longer and more detailed dream descriptions in the knowledge that this might produce richer, more nuanced visual animations, closer to your memory of your dreams?
The Dreamshare Seer is one of only a few sites actively researching publicly shared dream descriptions of recent dreams.  Currently, (as far as we know!), there are just two important dream archives globally; Sleep and Dream Database and DreamBank. Both are based in the US. They contain a vast database of rigorously collected written descriptions of dreams, usable for research purposes. However, neither of them allow for new dream descriptions to be added by the public.
Right now, The Dreamshare Seer may be the only tool which focuses on the dreams coming from a particular community, ie the place of the dream.
The Dreamshare Seer is also unique in that it is being created as both dream research and an artwork.   The artist, Adam Chodzko (UK), began developing this project in early 2022 , from his body of work now spanning over three decades. His artwork has often explored the relationships between creating art and dreaming. As an artwork this digital tool has been structured like a dream, with unusual combinations of information, imagery,  communities, interdisciplinary knowledge, place, times, and sounds.  All of these are stretching between their differences in order to connect, weaving together, evolving together to both reflect and build upon an ecology. (Please see FAQ: How is The Dreamshare Seer art?)
Following a ‘dream logic’, or a ‘leap of imagination’, there is a Malaysian group remotely guiding this Sheppey focused project. This research, into the possibilities of Western European collective dreaming, is framed within the context of Malaysian indigenous dreamwork offering another unique perspective to this project.
The Dreamshare Seer’s specific use of Artificial Intelligence, taking advantage not only of AI’s functionality, but also its limitations, aberrations and ‘hallucinations’, to echo dream imagery, also seems to be unique.

Ultimately, through this project, the live visual archives of these gathered dreams – this dream commons – will be publicly exhibited on the Isle of Sheppey via an interactive projected screen image using gaming technology.  Through this screening the public can explore the screen-based visualisations of the island community’s nocturnal dreams, gathered in a ‘cloud’, apparently floating visually above the island.
The Dreamshare Seer, through machine learning reveals commonalities between dreams – clustering them around certain dreamt characters, objects, moods or events – creating a new and dynamic network of unconscious connections between individuals and communities.  We can discover if, for instance, a green fox is appearing in the background of multiple dreams from multiple people living in the same area – roaming at night from one dream to another!
As the project evolves, and as the community uses our AI tool, we will create one collective dream visualisation for the island’s inhabitants, the synthesis of all their dream contributions arranged into one dream; The Isle of Sheppey’s dream!

As you can tell, we’re trying to do an awful lot with The Dreamshare Seer!  One cluster of challenges we’re attempting to transcend is that firstly, many people, particularly in the Global North, are quite sceptical about the significance of dreams, secondly, there’s our worries about the dangers of AI, thirdly, there’s suspicion towards the significance of contemporary art, and additionally prejudice exists towards the communities that live on Sheppey.  So, we have a lot of interesting obstacles to overcome in one project for a number of different intersecting audiences; We’re aiming it at a residential community, an art audience, and a non-art audience, a very local audience and an international audience.
We hope that The Dreamshare Seer is able to embrace a lot of ideas simultaneously for its audiences.  It’s an artwork, a dream archive, an exhibition, and a pioneering community citizen science experiment, informed by indigenous knowledge.
Perhaps imagine the process of using it as a kind of ritual, or ceremony, and a form of carnival.  Maybe think of the Dream Cloud in particular, as a carnival.
As with a lot of artistic practice the project, as a whole, can seem excessive and messy, while being open and speculative. It tries to gather together a lot of ideas and possibilities woven together. It’s a project partly about these connections; connecting a community in unusual ways, connecting a wider public to that community, connecting between dreams, connecting dreams with AI, connecting all this with art, connecting all this with indigenous knowledge (particularly that of the Malaysian Orange Asli), making artificial neural networks between everything, making neural network connections between all these ideas and possibilities in our heads.
Ultimately it is a project based on hope, finding and rekindling hope that engaging with our extraordinary imaginations revealed within our dream knowledge while we sleep might help guide us towards a better relationship with our world. Particularly at a time when we urgently hope for that improved relationship.

Why is this project focusing on, and being pioneered on, the Isle of Sheppey, Kent, UK?

The Dreamshare Seer is trying to explore the dreams of a specific community, based in a particular place; the place of the dream.

Do dreams dreamt by a community in a particular geographical location share any similarities among them?  Are these dreams filled with local imagery and references?
Could there be something about Sheppey’s unique landscape, history, geography and community that creates a particular kind of dream ? Could it reveal a shared quality of dream that wouldn’t appear anywhere else?

We could focus our dream research on the place of any community, e.g. people who attend a school in Swansea, the entire city of Detroit, the staff of an Aldi in Newcastle, etc.  But we chose to pioneer the project on the wonderful Isle of Sheppey for a number of reasons.

The Isle of Sheppey is a 36 square miles island off the northern coast of Kent, UK, neighbouring the Thames Estuary. From central London, heading east, it’s only 42 miles away.

The island is visible from the shore in Whitstable, a town in Kent where Adam Chodzko, the artist who created this project, lives.
From the beach, looking out to sea, Sheppey seems to sit on top of the horizon.  Adam has spoken of how this makes it appear that the island is ‘magically floating’ inside his head.  Through a longstanding fascination with Sheppey, Adam has made a series of artworks (see Dream Resources for more details) on the island, working with different parts of its community.  He has spoken of preferring the feel of the island, appreciating its particular energy and atmosphere, compared to much of mainland Kent!

When developing his project to use generative Artificial Intelligence to create visual animations from dream descriptions, Adam wanted to work with a geographically finite community.  An island is perfect for this; its landscape and its diverse communities are bordered by its shoreline. This spatial ‘state of independence’ helps anyone elsewhere to imagine it easily.  Islands have always provided a rich source of fantasies.

The name Sheppey is derived from Old English Sceapig, meaning “Sheep Island.” The relationship between ‘counting sheep’, in order to sleep and dream and this particular island, seems apt for this project. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, a 1968 dystopian science fiction novel by American writer Philip K. Dick, is another source of inspiration, with its questioning of what makes us human, and its concerns with empathy and artificial intelligence.

The Isle of Sheppey was the birthplace of aviation in the UK. The relationship between flying and dreaming was another motivation for Adam to work with this island. One of Sheppey’s early aeronautical engineers was J.W. Dunne who went on to write An Experiment with Time. The book is based on the concept that we can glimpse the future (and time’s lack of linearity) through our pre-cognitive dreams.
Continuing the connections between flight and dreaming, the JG Ballard novel The Unlimited Dream Company helped Adam form the appearance of The Dreamshare Seer’s Dream Cloud, where a community enters a different reality, of airborne encounter, at night.

The Isle of Sheppey has also had to struggle with a lack of cultural opportunities and a general lack of investment. It has often experienced prejudice towards its community from mainland Kent. One way to challenge these prejudices might then be through revealing the extraordinary innate imaginations of diverse inhabitants of the Sheppey community pioneering this project!

The Dreamshare Seer works towards cultivating an ecology with different aspects of the island.  In the forthcoming months we hope to use The Dreamshare Seer  to work with communities in the island’s schools, and even its prisons. The dream sounds come from audio field recordings Adam made on Sheppey. The aliases that participant dreamers are given for their anonymity are derived from a list of plants growing on Sheppey. The dataset used for the dream imagery has been modified – made local – with the addition of a dataset of pictures of places on the island.

As his research develops Adam will use this site to share with you further speculations and discoveries about Sheppey’s unique relationship to dreaming.

———————————————–
For deeper research on the above subjects, please check out our Dreamshare Seer Resources and Sheppey Resources pages.

Why do I need to have dreamt my dream on the Isle of Sheppey to be able to share it with the dream cloud?

We’re trying to explore the place of the dream.
Do dreams dreamt by a community in a particular geographical location share any similarities between their dreams?  Are these dreams filled with local imagery and references?

Could there be something about Sheppey’s unique landscape, history, geography and community, that creates a particular kind of dream?  A shared quality of dream that wouldn’t appear anywhere else?

This summer (2024), at a venue on the Island, we will make a public exhibition, celebrating the Sheppey community’s shared dreams, projecting them onto a screen to allow their further exploration.
By the end of 2024 we will create a single collective dream of, and for, Sheppey – a single extended dream guided by the shared dream themes that the island seems to be generating.
(For more information on both of these events, please see this FAQ)

We only need to know the dreamer’s location on the island very approximately.

If you don’t live on Sheppey and aren’t regularly sleeping on the island you are welcome to visit there to sleep and share you dreams. To do this you’ll just need to re-register with us, using a new email address, and tick the ‘visiting Sheppey’ box in the registration process.
We’ve listed a selection of accommodation for visitors to the Island in our Sheppey Resources: one example is on Elmley Marshes, the only place in the UK you can spend the night within a National Nature Reserve!

If I don’t sleep on the Isle of Sheppey, can I still play around with the tool, making visualisations of my own dreams?

If you don’t live on Sheppey, and can’t visit Sheppey to sleep and dream, there are still lots of ways that you can use The Dreamshare Seer.

If you register (as living beyond Sheppey), you’ll still be able to share descriptions of your dreams and see them transformed into brief visual animations.  However, these visualisations won’t appear publicly in the Dream Library and Dream Cloud, the archives exclusively  for people dreaming on Sheppey.

You’re also very welcome to explore this website, seeing our growing collection of shared dreams from Sheppey dreamers in the Dream Library and Dream Cloud. You can also discover how the dreams are clustering around certain common dream themes.

For further details about the number of dreams you can share etc if you don’t live on the Isle of Sheppey please see this FAQ: 

You can also request that, in the future, The Dreamshare Seer might run this project with your own community. Your  dream visualisations would therefore be included, exhibited in the Dream Library and Dream Cloud for that new site.
We’re working on offering further information about this process via a downloadable .pdf that will be available here in the near future!

Why are you asking for the Sheppey dreamer’s approximate place of sleep?

We’re trying to explore the place of the dream. Do dreams dreamt by a community in a particular geographical location share any similarities in their dreams?  Are their dreams filled with local imagery and references?

To allow us all to research this together, dreamers based on or visiting the Isle of Sheppey are asked to identify the approximate location of where they sleep (and dream from) on the island.
We mapped this by dividing up the Island’s 35 square miles into nine distinct areas, selected through existing, familiar, historical residential boundary information. All strings leading up to dreams emerge from the centres of each of these regions.

The location shown is only very approximate, in order to protect the anonymity of the dreamer. All we can see is that the dream came from, for example,  Queenborough.  But we can’t tell exactly where it came from in that town or its surrounding area.  So, we don’t know, and nobody is able to find out from this site, where you actually live. We don’t trace your movements!

By studying the Dream Cloud our aim is to discover (with you!) whether dreams emerging from particular communities on the island have any elements in common.
For example, do the residents of Rushenden have more dreams involving cats than the inhabitants of Warden?…and so on.  We’re also exploring whether some areas of the island produce more dreams than others (at least in terms of dreams that are shared with this tool).  We can then wonder what might be causing this ‘dream productivity’.

We invite your questions too. Please contact us if you spot any interesting patterns emerging.

Can I speak my dream to The Dreamshare Seer, instead of having to write it down?

Yes.  You can use your voice to dictate your dream as audio by clicking on the microphone icon on the dream description box*. It will then transcribe your spoken dream narration into text.

You may find it easier to remember your dream using verbal description, speaking it, in a half-awake state, as you emerge from sleep, whereas you may need to be a little more alert in order to write it down.  And by then, parts of your dream may have become more difficult to remember!

Please use whichever method of dream description works best for you.

*  Although voice message dream describing works well via a computer and Chrome, it does not work in Safari and on an iPhone  currently (24.4.24). We are working on a fix!

Can The Dreamshare Seer create dream visualisations from descriptions written in languages other than English?

Yes, this tool is accessible to people who wish to use languages other than English. It will automatically create dream visualisations from dream descriptions written in languages other than English. So far we’ve tested it, successfully, with the following languages: Latvian, Turkish, Bengali, Urdu, Russian, Malay, Italian, Japanese, Ewe, Chinese, Pashto, Scottish Gaelic, Swahili.

The transcription software can also work when speaking  languages other than English. We’ve tested it on spoken Spanish, Polish, etc. It can be a bit erratic so please speak slowly and clearly!

We’ve also tried it with lots of misspellings, and awkward grammar, and obscure street slang,…and generally it seems to ‘understand’ the intended meaning.

However, it is inherently skewed towards US English (so will visualise our delicious British chips as US potato crisps, etc).

What technologies does the Dreamshare Seer use?

Every dream description shared on The Dreamshare Seer has over 2000 lines of code applied to it on this site, in order to create the visualisation.

For the visuals we are using huggingface diffusers pipelines to run Hotshot-XL with Stable Diffusion style LORAs.

We use ffmpeg to encode the videos for the website. 

For analysis we use huggingface transformers pipelines to run BERT based models for text classification.

We also use spacy for NLP tasks such as keyword detection.

We use GPT-3.5 Turbo for translation and interpretation,

We’re using text embeddings (enabling similarity searches) to get a high dimensional representation of the dream text, then using T-distributed stochastic neighbour embedding (T-SNE) to project this to two dimensions.

—————————————————-
For deeper research on the above subject, please also check out our Dream Resources page.

The Dreamshare Seer uses generative AI; is AI good or harmful?

Is AI good or bad?
AI is a tool, so it depends how we use it –with what intensions and with what level of care – as to whether it becomes a force for good, or not.
For example, AI tools could  be used to build autonomous weapons that wipe out most of the planet, or they could  be applied to creating life-changing breakthroughs in medicine.

The Dreamshare Seer uses generative AI in a very small way, as art, as a tool, to create visualisations of our dreams and to explore the connections between our dreams.  Despite its small scale, we hope that this project might have positive benefits for diverse publics.

But, firstly, what is AI (Artificial Intelligence)?
It’s an incredibly complex and rapidly evolving subject, but for a recent (2023!) understanding, here’s a nice, ‘back to basics’, accessible and enjoyable intro to AI, via a free podcast series on BBC Sounds; Understand: Tech and AI, Episodes 5 – 10.

According to Microsoft’s Kate Crawford, ‘AI is neither artificial nor intelligent.’
Analysing the oppressive biases built into AI, computer scientist and AI expert Joy Buolamwini is the author of Unmasking AI and founder of the Algorithmic Justice League: Unmasking AI’s Racism And Sexism.
See also this recent article.

Mo Gawdat proposes that our ideal relationship with AI should be as “being a good parent” to AI! If we teach it to prioritise ethics and evolve a sustainable and inclusive value system of care, AI will then reflect that knowledge and care back to us.

We’re at a critical moment for the world and need all the collective intelligence we can gather to discover positive, inclusive, interconnected ways to move forward together, building sustainable ecologies, where all of us can help guide current technology toward a more restorative model. One that is not about extraction, destruction, or the consolidating of power in the hands of a small elite, but sharing power equitably and democratically.

Please also see; an interview with James Bridle “An ecological technology

Policy:
The AI Now Institute produces diagnosis and actionable policy research on artificial intelligence.
EU’s proposed AI act was recently endorsed by the European parliament https://artificialintelligenceact.eu/

For Art’s relationship with AI:
Please see the Serpentine’s Future Art Ecosystems 4: Art x Public AI (FAE4). This 4th annual strategic briefing provides analyses, concepts and strategies for cultural organisations, artists and the broader art and advanced technologies ecosystem responding to the transformations of AI systems on culture and society.

Please see:
FAQ:  What is unique about The Dreamshare Seer, and what are we hoping to discover?         
FAQ: In what ways does The Dreamshare Seer address ethical considerations, environmental responsibilities, and access needs? 
FAQ: What technologies does the Dreamshare Seer use?  

—————————————————-
For deeper research on the above subject, please also check out our Dream Resources page.

What is the connection between generative AI and the function of dreaming?

Anything can happen in our dreams! They’re often full of strange events and peculiar imagery. AI can also allow us to see anything we might imagine, and yet it can also deviate from what we’ve hoped it will show us, producing instead apparently strange events and peculiar imagery.
The Dreamshare Seer project is trying to discover how we might connect AI with dreaming, based on some hunches that they’re somehow aligned!

We’re making this connection in a literal, practical and creative way through the use of this tool. We’re wondering if finding any similarities between AI and dreaming might be useful for our understanding of each and how we might relate to them both? Similarly, exploring both what AI is able to do and fails to do, helps us understand more about human creativity* and even the nature of consciousness.

On the subject of the neuroscience of sleep and dreaming, Matthew Walker uses analogies to computational data processes:
…during REM sleep your brain tests out and builds connections between vast stores of information …using a bizarre algorithm that is biased toward seeking out the most distant, nonobvious associations, rather like a backward Google search.  In ways your waking brain would never attempt, the sleeping brain fuses together disparate sets of knowledge the foster impressive problem-solving abilities…informational alchemy.”
Matthew Walker, Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams (New York, 2017), p 132.

An essential strangeness built into dreams and AI:
“Inspired by recent insights into how machine “neural networks” learn, [Erik] Hoel has proposed an alternative theory: the overfitted brain hypothesis.
A common problem when it comes to training artificial intelligence (AI) is that it becomes too familiar with the data it’s trained on, because it assumes that this training set is a perfect representation of anything it might encounter. Scientists try to fix this “overfitting” by introducing some chaos into the data, in the form of noisy or corrupted inputs.
Hoel suggests that our brains do something similar when we dream. Particularly as we get older, our days become statistically pretty similar to one another, meaning our “training set” is limited. But we still need to be able to generalise our abilities to new and unexpected circumstances – whether it’s our physical movements and reactions, or our mental processes and understanding. We can’t inject random noise into our brains while we’re awake, because we need to concentrate on the tasks at hand and perform them as accurately as possible. But sleep is a different matter.
By creating a weirded version of the world, dreams may make our understanding of it less simplistic and more well-rounded. “It is the very strangeness of dreams in their divergence from waking experience that gives them their biological function,” Hoel said.”
Linda Geddes

AI is like an advanced form of predictive texting (which we know can sometimes jump to the wrong conclusions about what we’re attempting to write). Are our dreams constructed in a similar iterative way, except using an unpredictable pattern. Or has the mind already determined the outcome and structure of each dream – like deciding what we want to say before we speak – and we simply experience dreams as a playing out of this pre-formed narrative and its imagery?

With the Dreamshare Seer we’re wondering whether it’s helpful for the participant to have a machine ‘hear’ and ‘reflect’ your dreams? Like a perfectly objective psychoanalyst, the AI treats each dream equally and without judgement, offering you the space to explore its personal meaning.

This project tries to honour the extraordinary innate creativity and imagination involved in dreaming by using a process which doesn’t privilege and give power to a single artist/author, possessing supposedly special abilities to represent their own, or other people’s dreams. In the 20thC Surrealism often brilliantly explored the latter!

*“The better machines get at replicating and surpassing technical human accomplishments, the more important it gets to study and understand the nature of the creative impulse and the way societies are defined and held together by shared experiences of the imagination.”
The Guardian, editorial

See also:
FAQ: The Dreamshare Seer uses generative AI; is AI good or harmful?
FAQ: How is The Dreamshare Seer art?
FAQ: Why might it be good to see our dreams visualised and to share them with others in our community?

—————————————————-
For deeper research on the above subject, please also check out our Dream Resources page.

Is this tool’s generative AI being trained by the community using it?

People training  Artificial Intelligence?! What does that mean?!
When we use the term training AI, it means we are teaching a computer system to learn and make decisions on its own by showing it relevant samples. It’s like teaching a child by giving them lots of examples so they can understand and therefore do things on their own. In the case of AI, people provide data and guide the system to help it learn and improve its ability to perform tasks, so that it can do that work without the need for people to specifically programme it for each one.

Is this training happening when we use The Dreamshare Seer?
No, currently our interactions with The Dreamshare Seer through sharing our dream descriptions, doesn’t directly contribute to ‘training’. Direct training would involve an intentional machine learning pipeline, where a task is repeated again and again as a system improving itself autonomously.

With this project the communities interacting with The Dreamshare Seer are helping build data for it. Our idea is that, in return, this data can be carefully and creatively shared with those communities. It could therefore be seen as a foundation stage for training.
The data we collect and hold securely for a limited time, is quite minimal; the approximate location where you tell us you dream from, your dream description and the date that you share it, and then the dream visualisation that results from your description. We have your email address from when you registered but this is kept entirely separately and privately and for a limited amount of time.
When sharing your dream description you’ll select whether it was your most recent dream, or a previous but significant dream of yours, and this determines your dream visualisations’ height in the Dream Cloud.(See FAQ: What does the position of the dreams in the Dream Cloud mean? How are they clustering together?)
The thumbnail next to your dream visualisation and description listed in the Dream Library shows a circular icon with the first image from your dream. Surrounding this picture is a colourful halo indicating the levels of happiness and calmness you experienced in that dream, based on the scores you gave them. (On this page you can test out the sliding scales to how the colours change).  You can look for haloes of a similar colour in the Dream Library to explore dreams that might share a similar emotional state to each other.

Whatever we end up exploring and whatever feedback we end up collecting we will be transparent about this, sharing this information with the public on this site, as the project evolves. The Dreamshare Seer project is partly art and partly research and the community participating with the tool is helping create that art and build that research. Until it’s been used by its communities for a while we have no idea what the response to it will be, or what we might begin to discover from those responses. Based on what happens we might begin to focus our looking to ask more specific questions. There are lots of possibilities!

For instance, there could be some indirect influence, or ‘training’, if , for example, The Dreamshare Seer team continue to tweak the prompts we use, or fine-tune its imagery (eg; by adding more pictures of the Isle of Sheppey’s landscape to the “Sheppey-Lora” model to skew its visualisations to be more local, and less US biased!), or try to analyse the user’s dream descriptions to then alter the system’s use of the AI models, etc.
We can observe what is being made and make choices on training and fine-tuning, guiding the system, as the project progresses.
It is also possible that the dataset being made could be used for future training. For example, in theory we could take the public descriptions generated from the shared dream descriptions and train a language model on these texts to generate descriptions (and then imagery from that) that “look like” our dataset; ie; artificial dream descriptions. We might discover that through the use of this tool some common structures or patterns emerge in the way we try to describe our dreams. Over time we could both manually and automatically label the dream animations in order to fine tune them. For example, we could gather together all the shared beautiful or scary or watery dreams, to make separate text and image datasets of each them. Then, based on those datasets, we could tune a new system that would generate and visualise specifically beautiful or scary or watery dreams!

We currently collect a few bits of meta data e.g. the time of day the dream description is submitted.  Maybe dream descriptions are more detailed earlier in the day, just after we wake?  So, we could try to discover if there were correlations between the time of dream sharing and dream complexity, and perhaps modify our system to acknowledge these differences.

Is there other user feedback that we could measure?
It could be possible for us to collect data on eg; how many times a dream animation was played, and the most frequently used search terms in the Dream Library, and which dreamers kept returning to share their new dreams, etc.  With the latter we could explore whether the dreams shared by these repeatedly posting dreamers become increasingly more detailed, or perhaps consistently include certain motifs.

We’re partly exploring what a Sheppey dream might look like? In the future we could invite the Sheppey community who use The Dreamshare Seer to share their own photos taken on Sheppey, then incorporating these into the Sheppey-Lora model, fine-tuning the tool’s visualisation to become increasingly Sheppey-like!
These examples of feedback for AI are known as Reinforcement Learning from Human Feedback (RLHF).

In summary, there are lots of possible directions we could guide The Dreamshare Seer in, and we invite your ideas!


—————————————————-
For deeper research on the above subject, please also check out our Dream Resources page.

What does the position of the dreams in the Dream Cloud mean? How are they clustering together?

The Dream Cloud exhibits all the different dreams that have been shared so far by people who sleep on the Isle of Sheppey, either as residents or visitors.  Dreams from Sheppey dreamers enter the Cloud automatically, three days after they are created, or immediately if the dreamer clicks the “Approve” link in their “See My Dream” email.
Each dream’s string position, as it emerges from the map of the island, indicates the approximate location that the dream was dreamt from, within one of nine areas on Sheppey.

The height of the dream above the island shows how recently that dream occurred. The dreams closest to the ground are those most recently shared. The highest dreams in the constellation above the island are those that were labelled past dreams by their dreamer.  The highest of all would be past dreams shared with this tool at the very start of this project.

The dreams are also constantly clustering and gathering together, based on the key themes (emotions, actions, places, objects, etc.) within those dreams.  We can see a list of some of the most frequently recurring themes in the relevant drop down menu in the Dream Cloud.  So, for example, in late February 2024, if you clicked on the theme of  “running,” you’d see seven dreams all grouped closely together because they share at least a reference to running in their dream descriptions. But you’ll also see two other dreams that are separate from this cluster. They both contain a mention of running in their dream descriptions, but they also have other more significant themes that have more in common with other dreams in the cloud.

However, if you click on the theme of “disgust” you’ll see that most of the dreams involving a theme of disgust are dispersed across the island. That is because those dreams mostly feature other events or references which draw them into closer relationships with other dreams.
The dreams are also grouped together based on other commonalities between them, that may not yet have entered the Themes menu (which requires at least six dreams to include a reference in order for it to enter that list).  It’s all very dynamic: all dream positions are constantly updating every time a new dream is added, effecting the whole cloud.

It is also possible to use the search function in our Dream Library to look for other commonalities between dreams that don’t feature in the Themes list in the Dream Cloud.

What is the technology behind this process?
  We’re using text embeddings (enabling similarity searches) to get a high dimensional representation of the dream text, then using hen using T-distributed stochastic neighbour embedding (T-SNE) to reduce this to two dimensions.

Why is it important to show how dreams cluster together?  Our research is partly to explore the dream life of a community. How similar or different are our dreams from our neighbours? Are we all dreaming about similar things at similar times?  If we’re all aware of events happening out there in the world (or occurring just on Sheppey), do we as a community dream out these shared waking experiences together as we sleep?

The Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Carl Jung was very interested in the idea of a collective dreaming, coming from a collective unconscious.  Many indigenous cultures gather their dreams together socially, sharing their recent dreams with each other in order assemble this form of knowledge to make good practical or spiritual decisions as a group.  The Dreamshare Seer is also wondering whether our dreams, as a community, contain different aspects of knowledge that may somehow ‘fit together’ collectively – the sum of its parts – in order to offer us guidance.

See our Dream Resources for more information about collective dreaming and Carl Jung.

What is the sound that is accompanying my dream visualisation?

The sound accompanying your dream comes from an archive of diverse field recordings that the artist Adam Chodzko made in numerous different locations on the Isle of Sheppey.  They are sounds of real everyday events happening on the island.

The specific audio clip automatically selected by this tool to accompany your dream is based on information in your dream description,  but it is also trying to match the main setting for your dream.
If you dream about a forest or a busy city or a spaceship, these environments can’t be recorded on Sheppey because…they don’t exist there! So our programme finds the Sheppey audio clip that is the most appropriate substitute to represent these dream motifs.  In some instances the sound does not seem to fit the dream, but this mismatching can provoke a new understanding of your relationship to your dream!

When you see your dream visualised as animation it helps make the experience of viewing it more immersive, and more embodied, if it is accompanied by sound.

But do dreams even have ‘sound’?  Some people experience a form of hearing in dreams –  they are aware of listening to sound. Sometimes particular words are spoken or a very specific song is ‘heard’. Often as we sleep and dream, external noises will help shape some of the elements within our dreams, then becoming incorporated into the dream’s narrative, particularly as we wake, such as the sound of our alarm clock ringing in our dream becoming a church bell.  So we must hear some aspects of waking reality while asleep.

In a hypnagogic state –  between sleep, dream and wakefulness – external sound can particularly influence our dream content.

See also Dream Assistance:  sounds, music and meditations for dreaming.

Why do I need to wait to see my dream visualised after I’ve submitted its description? Why the delay?

After sharing your dream description with us, it takes The Dreamshare Seer up to 24 hours to transform your words into a short visual animation.

As soon as it’s ready you’re automatically emailed a link to view your visualised dream privately, and if you’re dreaming from Sheppey, the opportunity to exhibit your dream immediately, making it public in the Dream Library and Dream Cloud.

NB: All participants have the opportunity to delete their dream visualisations using the link in the same email.

But why is it necessary to wait for this process to happen?

The reasons are both practical and conceptual:
It’s partly due to processing time.  It’s more economical to process a batch of shared dreams together, rather than animate them individually as soon as each is submitted.
Rather than making the process instant, having some leeway allows us time to carefully check and manually moderate.

Perhaps imagine this interval as the digital tool needing to wake or it needing to sleep and dream about your dream description, to be able to transform your words into their corresponding moving images.

Like a process of cooking or gardening creative processes are worth taking time over, as opposed to chasing an instant gratification. So, making a virtue out of necessity, we like the idea that, as with anything important, (perhaps especially  in relation to dreaming), it can be wise to ‘sleep on it.’

I shared a dream description but it didn’t create a dream visualisation?
We apologise – sometimes the system may be unable to animate your dream.
This can be a technical fault with the emerging technology or content at variance with our internal safeguards or the visualisation AI’s guidelines.
Thank you for your understanding.
While this particular  dream submission will not complete, you are welcome to try sharing your real dream descriptions again.

Why does my dream visualisation look different to how I think my dream looked?

Through our own technological limitations within an emerging field The Dreamshare Seer will probably produce a visualisation that may not reflect how you remember your dream looking. This is like any subjective interpretation. If you describe a personal event to another person they will inevitably picture it quite differently, based on their own memories and experiences. And of course, our own dreams are unique to us, and even we the dreamer may only be able to remember them hazily. It’s all extremely subjective!

Moreover, unlike telling our dream to another person sitting in front of us, The Dreamshare Seer doesn’t know what gender you are, or your age, or race, or indeed anything about your physical appearance. Unless you include this information within your dream description your first person narrative will have the AI ‘guessing’ as to how you look, based both on chance as well as its own problematic biases.*

The Dreamshare Seer’s AI generated visualisations can’t produce speech.  So it can’t deal with any spoken communication occurring in a dream.
We experience often complex, deeply nuanced and sometimes difficult emotions in our dreams.  Yet AI can be very simplistic and reductive in its portrayal of emotional states on a face or bodily gestures.  Again this limitation is caused by biases in its training which fails to take into account how we show emotion differently based on culture, age, race, class, gender.

So, the tool, with its capabilities and deficiencies, creates a proposition for us to consider; This is what I imagine from your dream description; was it like this?
From our own tests, somehow, occasionally The Dreamshare Seer seems to perfectly represent what we remember dreaming! At others it seems to totally misunderstand our dream description, or appears obsessed with an incidental detail, or simply ‘refuses’ to visualise an important event from our dream.

One workaround you can try is to resubmit a description of the same dream, but with more detail, or try and reword your description so that you can encourage the AI to visualise something closer to how you remembered your dream. If the new visualisation is better you can then delete the original version, via the link in the email we send you to tell you your dream is ready.

We are making a guide with some simple tips for assisting your writing of your dream descriptions. This should help you work around some of the limitations of AI, in order to try and generate a visualisation which reflects your memory of your dream more accurately.
We will add this information here soon!

One of the questions we’re exploring with The Dreamshare Seer is, despite these distortions, does it still feel like our dream?
And if we can’t remember much of our dream, does its visualisation somehow suggest what might be missing from our memory of it?  Does the tool’s failure to ‘get it right’ also help us clarify some details from our dream? Witnessing the mistranslation of our storytelling may prompt us to seek a greater accuracy towards what we sense is the truth of our dream.

Everyone’s dream (probably!) looks aesthetically different . With The Dreamshare Seer we have made aesthetic choices about the dream visualisations based on our own personal subjective experience of dreaming. Therefore we have biased the visualisation towards the visual style you see here.
The style resembles an odd mixture of  classic Ladybird Book watercolour illustrations combined with the strange blurred and distorted faces from Francis Bacon paintings!

Soon we will have the opportunity to migrate the tool to use newer AI models, offering longer durations of dream visualisation with greater definition and realism. However, slick hyperreality may lack the feel and atmosphere of a dream! 20th C Surrealist art often sought to embody the strangeness of dreams rather than literally depict them with photorealism. Dream sequences in cinema stereotypically use techniques such as blurring, slow motion and muted, or extremely saturated colours.
AI generated dream imagery may therefore suit our current, relatively early stage of rudimentary text to video diffusion models better than future more sophisticated iterations. We will be exploring the possibilities! You may see the The Dreamshare Seer’s style of imagery change, or we may choose to keep it, just as it is.

We have made a few changes though, to tweak what our tool creates.
Big Tech (Alphabet (Google), Amazon, Apple, Meta, and Microsoft) is based in – and therefore is biased towards – the US. Most of the datasets the AI is trained on seem to contain mostly US imagery. This doesn’t work well for a project that particularly focuses on an island in the UK. We have therefore added a dataset of photographic imagery of the Isle of Sheppey to skew the visualisations towards something more relevant and familiar to the community who live on the Island.

Ultimately, The Dreamshare Seer is as much to do with exploring the process of using the tool, and doing this collectively, as it is concerned with the visual results from sharing a dream description.
Please see our FAQ: Why might it be good to see our dreams visualised and to share them with others in our community?

Also see our FAQ: Why is the visualisation of my dream so short? The dream I described seemed to have a much longer duration!

*The biases in AI:
Please see our FAQ: The Dreamshare Seer uses generative AI; is AI good or harmful?
and this recent article.

—————————————————-
For deeper research on the above subject, please also check out our Dream Resources page.

Why is the visualisation of my dream so short? The dream I described seemed to have a much longer duration!

At present, due to our limited budget and the cost of processing the dream visualisations and limited access to the model we’re currently using – Hotshot-XL we can’t afford to make longer durations of your dreams! Currently, The Dreamshare Seer’s visualisations of your dreams are a minimum of 20 seconds long and a maximum of 39 secs. The variation occurs because longer and more detailed dream descriptions, involving numerous events, will create longer dream visualisations and therefore generate more prompts (up to a maximum of 12 prompts for this tool.)

However, instead of endlessly chasing the most advanced technology, artists like to create meaning from limitations!

This tool’s dream animations feel more like a ‘trailer’ for our dreams, briefly displaying its most important elements. We can perceive The Dreamshare Seer’s animations therefore as a summary, or an abstraction, or the essence of our original dream. We often don’t remember our dreams fully anyway, sensing that there are gaps – missing scenes – when we try to recall them, even when the dreamt events occurred only a few hours, or even minutes, before our waking.  A dream, like a film, might seem to describe events which occur over several days.  But, as in cinema, our dream state ‘edits’ the dream, to create an illusion of this long duration for us, squeezing it into the dreaming phase of one night’s sleep.

Similarly, if, while talking to a friend, we described our previous night’s dream in great detail, their own subjective interpretation of our story and certainly their ensuing memory of it, would become similarly condensed to the essential details that resonated most with them. It would become ‘a glimpse’ of our original dream.
Equally, we could perceive The Dreamshare Seer’s visualisations as the generative AI’s ‘memory’* of your dream. Our nocturnal dreams are often built partly from experiences we’ve had from the day before. So, we could imagine the AI as ‘dreaming’ based on its experience of our dream. The resulting visualisation is all it can remember of its dream of our dream as it ‘wakes’.

If, currently, The Dreamshare Seer’s animations seem short – approximately the ideal length of a Tiktok video – how long are our dreams?  At present the science still can’t be certain of the exact duration. We can dream in every stage of sleep (not just REM sleep) and if woken repeatedly over the course of a night we might recall having experienced multiple different dreams. Dream length can also vary between a few seconds to an hour, or perhaps even longer.

*Text-to-video models using generative AI can also be understood as being based on “a memory” of data (in our case, the data is based on dream descriptions) because they leverage a learned understanding of the input data during the training phase. This memory is then utilized during the generative process to produce coherent and contextually appropriate video content based on textual input.
For more information: Pattern recognition and memory.pdf

—————————————————-
For deeper research on the above subject, please also check out our Dream Resources page.

Does it cost anything to use The Dreamshare Seer? What do you need from me in order that I can participate?

The Dreamshare Seer is completely free for anyone to use! It won’t cost you anything, other than around 10 minutes of your time, to register and share a dream description.
We are interested in your descriptions of your night-time dreams. You participate through sharing your sleeping dream descriptions on The Dreamshare Seer site, to see them turned into brief visual animations. You can also explore how your dream might share things in common with other peoples’ shared dreams. You will be able to see the outcome of your participation within 24 hours of sharing your dream description.

Your participation will be completely anonymised, so nobody will know your real identity. Unlike many websites/apps we don’t need to know your name or home address or phone number. And you don’t need to use a password with us.

The Dreamshare Seer team initially just needs your email address in order to give you a randomly generated alias (your dreamer ID) so that you can share your descriptions with us. We then keep your email address securely hidden from the public and encrypted (using 256-bit encryption).

Please see our Participation Information document and our Privacy Policy for:
What information we need from you, and how much of your time this will take up, and what we do with that information, and how you can control what we do with that information, and when we erase that information for you, and what we hope to create and discover through the information you share with us.

Those documents also let you know, how we protect your privacy, and who we are, and how to contact us.

We thank you for taking part!

What do I receive in return for sharing my dream(s) through this project?

We thank you for taking part!

Taking part in this project offers some potential advantages (see FAQ: Why might it be good to see our dreams visualised and to share them with others in our community?) but we are unable to offer direct benefits or rewards in exchange.

We are non-profit and receive our funding through Arts Council of England, the British Council, Leeds Beckett University and the Elephant Trust, etc (please see our Partners page for details)

Your participation in The Dreamshare Seer project is completely voluntary, free and securely anonymised. Using this unique tool you’ll be part of a pioneering community project exploring your own dreams and the dreams of others, revealing the Isle of Sheppey community’s innate and extraordinary creativity, through an evolving dream exhibition (our Dream Cloud) and archive (our Dream Library).
You can also explore how your dream might share things in common with other peoples’ shared dreams. You will be able to see the outcome of your participation within 24 hours of sharing your dream description.
You’ll be invited to see your visualised dream descriptions presented publicly, at the physical exhibition we will make on the Isle of Sheppey.

Please see our Participation Information and our Privacy Policy for:
What information we need from you, and how much of your time this will take up, and what we do with that information, and how you can control what we do with that information, and when we erase that information for you, and what we hope to create and discover through the information you share with us.

Those documents also let you know, how we protect your privacy, and who we are, and how to contact us.

We are grateful for your participation in this project.

Can the public see exactly who shared a dream description? Or do users of this tool keep our identities private because we’re all anonymised?

No, we have no idea who submitted which dream! We only see your dreamer alias. Your email address is kept private and secured. It isn’t ever visible to the public using this tool.
Your dream visualisation and its description is only exhibited publicly, with your consent, if you’re dreaming from Sheppey.
So, if you’re dreaming from beyond Sheppey your dream visualisation and its description can only be seen by you anyway.

Your participation will be completely anonymised, so nobody will discover your real identity. Unlike many websites/apps we don’t need to know your name or home address or your phone number. And you don’t need to use a password with us.
The Dreamshare Seer team initially just need your email address in order to give you a unique randomly generated alias (your ‘Dreamer ID’, which is derived from the names of  many of the plants that grow wild on Sheppey*) with which to share your dreams with.

We then keep your email address securely hidden from the public, and we encrypt it using 256-bit encryption. In the place where you fill in your dream description we remind you against revealing your identity, or anyone else’s identities. We have automated systems to hide anything that might reveal yours, or other people’s, identities. We also manually moderate (with Adam Chodzko as moderator) for each dream, as a further level of security.

If you share a dream description with us, as soon as it’s been transformed into a short visual animation you’ll be automatically sent an email.  This email contains a link to view your visualised dream privately, and if you’re dreaming from Sheppey, the opportunity to exhibit your dream immediately, making it public in the Dream Library and Dream Cloud. Alternatively, Sheppey-based Dreamers can wait 72 hours and their dream will automatically become publicly exhibited in these archives.
All participants have the opportunity to delete their dream visualisations using the link in this same email.

For Sheppey based dreamers your dream alias and shared dreams will also show very approximately what area of the Island you dream from. See FAQ: Why are you asking for the dreamer’s approximate location on the Isle of Sheppey?

So that we can send you notifications when your dream is processed, the small group of us running The Dreamshare Seer do potentially have the capacity to identify you, by linking your email address to your dreamer alias and your specific dream submissions. However, this information is encrypted when stored; it is not easy even for us to access it and there’s no advantage to us in identifying you. Your anonymity is important to us!

For further information please see our Participation Information and our Privacy Policy for:
What information we need from you, and how much of your time this will take up, and what we do with that information, and how you can control what we do with that information, and when we erase that information for you, and what we hope to create and discover through the information you share with us.
Those documents also let you know, how we protect your privacy, and who we are, and how to contact us.

In summary:
We are a privacy first venture and do not track personal data, with cookies or alternate methods used for anonymous performance monitoring only. We are committed to protecting your privacy and security and use the latest technology and best practices to keep your data safe.
The Dreamshare Seer tool uses the highest level of encryption commercially available, AES-256, to protect all personal data at rest and in transit. We only collect the minimum personal data necessary to process your dream, and will never sell your data.
We also use SSL for all transactions and additionally utilise a secure password (smart-link) service to help you keep your account access secure.

Analytics
In line with our commitment to privacy and providing an improved user experience, we’ve transitioned from Google Analytics to Fathom Analytics, a privacy-centric analytics service.
Fathom Analytics offers us insights into user interactions with our site without using cookies or infringing on your privacy. This transition supports a more engaging user experience, aligns our practices with the latest privacy standards, and importantly, eliminates the need for cookie consent for analytics purposes on our site.
We are committed to protecting your privacy and security. We take all reasonable steps to ensure that your data is safe and secure.
We use Cloudflare as a firewall and a service through which all traffic flows.

*The names of numerous plants growing on Sheppey are used as the source of the randomly generated anonymised DreamerID’s.
The idea is to ‘root’ these community aliases in the local, and from the landscape. So, we’re imagining an ecology where the Sheppey dreams emerge from these roots, from the earth, and then floating upward. Just as you see them represented in the Dream Cloud!
We use  around 270 different plant names, from a total of 700-800 plants, found from research into Sheppey’s flora by Kent Field Club.  (The Vascular Plants of Sheppey, Geoffrey D. Kitchener, pp67-85, from THE NATURAL HISTORY OF THE ISLE OF SHEPPEY by Kent Field Club (2014))

What happens if my dream description, or its visualisation, has inappropriate, explicit or offensive content? (ie. “NSFW”).

We can’t control the extraordinary contents of the private space of our dreams. They may contain what we’d consider to be inappropriate, or even extreme material, if the same events were represented on TV. Yet dreams may be a healthy outlet for the manifestation of our repressed urges, and might have another important function of rehearsing encounters with our deep-rooted fears (threat simulation theory: TST).
The Dreamshare Seer shares the private experience of a dream within a public exhibition, so we need to err on the side of caution and apply some safeguards for accessing any NSFW (Not Safe For Work) content if it appears. The potential issues are more relevant to the dream description than its resulting visualisation because the AI models we use to generate this animation have automatic guardrails in place. Although problematic because of the biases inherent in the way AI has been trained, the AI we use has been strictly programmed to avoid presenting any sexual or violent content. Even so, it is a generative and interpretative process and therefore always carries a slight risk. For that reason The Dreamshare Seer also uses human moderators to check the dream content and flag up as NSFW any dreams considered potentially upsetting. Or even to permit content when the automatic guardrails are being overly prudish.

How does the NSFW flag work on this tool?
On our home page, under the autoplaying dream there is an option to click on:
Remove my NSFW consent throughout the site.
If this has been clicked, NSFW dreams are blocked from view in the Dream Cloud.
The Dream Library will show the following warning – as well as the ability to view the content – for both the dream’s visualisation and its description:
Viewer Discretion Advised.
The dream has been flagged as potentially Not Safe For Work (NSFW) and may contain material that is offensive or upsetting. Please click the button below to confirm you still wish to view the content. Your selection will be remembered for future dreams.
I am aged 18+, I understand & wish to view

Overall, we are trying to strike a balance between taking care of our diverse publics and yet not totally sanitising the extraordinary and strange space of our dreams!

See also: FAQ; Why have some names that I included in my dream description been redacted, censored, greyed out?

Why have some names that I included in my dream description been redacted, censored, greyed out?

Sometimes personal or sensitive information in your dream description may be redacted, (in the Dream Library you’ll notice a few words have been greyed out, or removed) in order to avoid risk.

Many of us dream very socially, involving diverse friends, family members, work associates, or often just total strangers that we briefly encounter in every day life. Therefore, we might want to include eg; a specific name, or address in our dream descriptions. But when shared publicly through this tool that detailed information could lead to those people, or places (eg; a home address), becoming identifiable by someone who happens to read your dream narrative in our Dream Library, (although only dreams from Sheppey appear publicly in this archive).
The dream description could include personal data or sensitive data. Personal data is any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person (data subject). Sensitive data includes eg; religion, political opinions, sexual orientation, health information etc.

Of course, it’s ‘only a dream!’ We can’t control what we dream or prevent other people from dreaming about us. But dreams are a strange mix of reality and fiction, therefore, to err on the side of caution we take steps to avoid any potentially risky identification being possible by applying a series of checks.
We give this advice at the point where you share your dream description.
Important Note on Privacy: While we do everything possible to automatically redact personal information from dream submissions, we kindly request your cooperation in this effort. Please avoid including any identifiable details such as names, addresses, phone numbers, or other sensitive information about yourself or others. Our goal is to keep The Dreamshare Seer a secure and anonymous platform for everyone to freely explore and share their dreams.
Then, through AI we have automatic moderation that will redact anything from your dream description that might identify a member of the public, a private address or any other personal or sensitive data. In addition there is a further level of manual moderation (by Adam Chodzko).
(And, of course, any editing via our moderators is ‘not personal’ towards the dreamer, because we don’t know their identity.)

For example, a dream describing “..I was flying in a floating bubble with Mark Williams, the manager of the Golden Eagle pub in Devonshire Road, Hull…” would need to be redacted to “..I was flying in a floating bubble with the manager of a pub in Hull…

We don’t redact people’s names that are well known, or places that are familiar to many people. So, for example, a dream that stated “I was running through Sheerness town centre with Liz Truss, Donald Trump, a squirrel, and the presenters from “Bake Off”” would be fine to keep exactly as described!

Why is it important for us to take care with sensitive information?
It’s an important part of taking responsibility for how we use AI to ensure it is always centred on human well-being.
The huge data sets that Big Tech has been training AI with includes scraped personal information from whatever we’ve posted online over the years*. Issues of consent, and care of personal information therefore urgently need prioritising. Fortunately there’s growing guidance and regulation. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Europe’s new data privacy and security law, is the toughest privacy and security law in the world.
The Data Protection Act 2018 is the UK’s implementation of the GDPR. Everyone responsible for using personal data has to follow strict rules called ‘data protection principles’. The Dreamshare Seer’s adherence to those principles can be found in our Privacy Policy and Participation Information.

For a few examples of further general information on this subject please see:
The Information Commissioners guidance and resources.

An article in The Conversation about data privacy.

An article in Forbes about data privacy.

* see Shoshana Zuboff’s brilliant book “The Age of Surveillance Capitalism”

After sharing my dream can I then delete my dream from The Dreamshare Seer?

Yes, it is possible to delete your own dream’s visualisation, and the dream description you wrote. And if you are dreaming from the Isle of Sheppey you can delete it from being exhibited The Dreamshare Seer’s publicly accessible Dream Cloud and Dream Library (NB: Dreams shared from beyond Sheppey don’t become publicly exhibited with us).
However, you’re unable to delete anyone else’s dream!

How to delete your dream?
You’ll find your link to delete your dream in the email you’ll receive letting you know that your dream description has been turned into a short visual animation. As soon as you click “delete”, it becomes permanently hidden.

If you’re dreaming from Sheppey, you’ll have three weeks, from when you receive this email, to delete your dream from the publicly viewable Dream Library and Dream Cloud,
If you view it and do nothing your dream will automatically join the Dream Library and Dream Cloud within 72 hours.
If you want to exhibit it immediately you can click on the relevant link in this email which will fast track it directly into both those publicly accessible archives.

If you’d like to go further, and delete more of your data with us you can easily remove your email from registration by contacting us. We’ll then delete your email from our system and erase any dream descriptions you shared with us. We’ll then hide your dream visualisations from the public. However, for research, we preserve the content you generated from your description (the prompts, the animation, and its embeddings) but hidden from public view.
We’ll also be erasing all participants’ registration data when the project ends.

Why might you want to delete your dream visualisation and its description?
There are a few reasons why some people might want to delete your dream:
You may not like how it looks. It may feel uncomfortable having something so personal to you being ‘exhibited’ in public. Or perhaps you feel the AI misunderstood the way you described your dream.  So, you’d like to try again, using a differently worded dream description, giving greater detail.

We’re hoping that you keep your dreams present in the cloud.
And remember…there’s no such thing as a “wrong dream”!  There can be no judgement towards what you dreamt because our dreams are beyond our control. And even when the AI misunderstands what we intended to communicate in our dream descriptions, the visualisation often seems to additionally offer us something else!

How long will my dream be visible on The Dreamshare Seer site? And how long will this tool continue to collect dreams?

Our current plan is that, for Isle of Sheppey dreamers who have dream animations exhibited in the Dream Library and Dream Cloud, we will continue this collection and public archiving process until at least December 2024.
Similarly, dreamers beyond Sheppey can continue using this tool to turn their dream descriptions into dream visualisations until at least December 2024.
We invite you to share numerous dreams over this period!
We will post here any updates regarding possible extensions to this schedule.

In addition much of The Dreamshare Seer site will be archived as video screen recording and documented permanently on https://www.adamchodzko.com/

After it has been pioneered by the Isle of Sheppey’s community we hope to move The Dreamshare Seer to work with another place and another community, elsewhere in the world.
See FAQ: In the future will The Dreamshare Seer be offered to other places and other communities?
We will keep you posted here with any news on this.

If you’ve signed up for emails we will also let you know via your inbox.

What data are you collecting from people through the use of this tool? And what do you do with our information?

Please see our Participation Information and our Privacy Policy for:
What information we need from you, and how much of your time this will take up, and what we do with that information, and how you can control what we do with that information, and when we erase that information for you, and what we hope to create and discover through the information you share with us.

Those documents also let you know, how we protect your privacy, and who we are, and how to contact us.

We thank you for taking part!

Is there a limit to how many dreams I can share?

We have set a few limits on the numbers of dreams that can be shared in one go, so as not to overload the system.
Currently, if you dream your dreams on the Isle of Sheppey you can share up to 10* dreams within 24 hours.
There is a 2 minute interval between being able to share these dreams.

If you don’t live on the Isle of Sheppey you can share up to 2 dreams within 24 hours.
There is a 2 minute interval between being able to share these dreams.

* 10 dreams?!!! Surely we have just one or perhaps only a few dreams per night?
That’s true! But it may be that you already have a dream journal of your past dreams, and now this tool gives you the opportunity to see them all visualised!

In future we may need to increase (or decrease!) the limits, depending on the extent to which the tool is used.   If so, updated information will be posted here.
If this happens we hope it won’t inconvenience you too much.

How long will I be able to share my dreams for?
We will be running The Dreamshare Seer (initially focusing on the Isle of Sheppey) until the end of 2024 at the earliest and we invite you to to share numerous dreams during that time.

After its first relationship with the Isle of Sheppey we hope to move The Dreamshare Seer to work with another place and another community, elsewhere in the world.
See FAQ: In the future will The Dreamshare Seer be offered to other places and other communities?
We will keep you posted here with any news on this.  If you’ve signed up for emails we will also let you know via your inbox.

I want to know what my dream means?  Can you interpret my dream?

Dream interpretation hopes to answer the question “What does it mean when you dream about…?”

Sorry! No, we’re not able to help with dream interpretation questions.
It would seem useful to know what our dreams appear to be trying to tell us. Understanding the precise meaning of the mysterious images and events they reveal would surely help give us direction in our waking lives? Whilst Jungian archetypes can offer an important way to reflect on the content of our dreams there are numerous ‘dream dictionaries’ available which claim to offer universal interpretations of symbolic motifs from dreams.
However, “dream psychologists basically agree that the dreamer is the authority on their own metaphors and others can simply help them get to their own interpretation of their dream”*. The question becomes, what might your dream mean to you? How might we explore our dreams in order to help us understand a situation we’re in? Perhaps we can think of dreams as a strange form of mirror that reflects our selves, our pasts, and through understanding these, can help us shape our futures?

Similarly, this digital tool is not able to answer your dream interpretation questions! Our focus is different. So, it will offer you an interpretation of how important parts of your dream look visually. And the Dream Cloud also indicates what elements from your dream are also appearing in other people’s dreams from your community.

But the meaning of those commonly appearing characters, objects, events, actions or feelings are personal to you, based on your previous memories of, and emotional connections with, these motifs. They can’t be translated into a singular meaning that will apply to everyone.  The dreamer needs to discover this personal meaning through exploring their waking life’s relationship to their dreams. It can’t be found in a dream dictionary.  But this personal exploration can be facilitated with the help of others; family, friends, a dream group or psychoanalyst, etc.

Throughout history, mythology and across cultures there are many examples of people, and whole communities, finding truth or guidance through a dream vision.
Equally, our creativity can be helped by engaging with a state of not knowing, of embracing uncertainty, so that we can continue to wonder and speculate.
“If we can’t trust the leaps and bounds of our imaginations, then how can we ever expect something new to come into being? … We don’t always understand what we’re compelled to do, either as artists or humans. Creation is often its own explanation. It is not always logical or well-behaved: it flowers in multitudes. [It’s]..in the words of the novelist Angela Carter, an ‘unexplored country, a brave new world’?…the third-century Saint Gregory the Illuminator …wrote: “We make Idols of our concepts, but Wisdom is born of wonder. Yet to experience wonder takes time and most of us lead lives that leave little room for the solitude needed to explore the parts of ourselves that are intangible or inarticulate.””
The Other Side: A Journey into Women, Art and the Spirit World
Jennifer Higgie.  p.87

*Deidre Barrett, Pandemic Dreams (2020), Oneiro Press. P.8
Referring to techniques in which others can help us interpret our dreams, Barrett writes: “Two of the most common techniques are Montague Ullman’s Group Dreamwork Method and the Dream Interview developed by Gayle Delaney and Loma Flowers.”
Deidre Barrett is a dream researcher at Harvard Medical School.

—————————————————-
For deeper research on the above subject, please also check out our Dream Resources page.

What is the role of the Malaysian group attached to The Dreamshare Seer ?

The Dreamshare Seer project is being remotely observed, and occasionally guided, by a Malaysian-based group, assembled by artist, Adam Chodzko. This loose collective is made up of diverse individuals, including accomplished artists, anthropologists, researchers, educators, and leaders of NGO’s promoting the culture of Malaysia’s Orang Asli (the oldest inhabitants of Peninsular Malaysia, a heterogeneous indigenous population forming its national minority).
Fascinated by the some of the quasi-fictional findings by Western anthropologists working in Malaysia in the 20th C, as brilliantly analysed by professor of psychology and sociology G William Domhoff in his book Mystique Of Dreams: A Search for Utopia Through Senoi Dream Theory (1990), and guided by advice from psychological anthropologist Professor Jeannette Mageo, Adam visited Malaysia in 2023. Supported by the British Council’s Connections Through Culture  he researched Malaysian indigenous dreamwork and the degree to which this form of knowledge might also exist within the country’s other diverse cultures. This exploration was significantly shaped by a series of discussions with the experts who now comprise the Malaysian group here.
As ‘observers.’ or ‘elders,’ or a ‘steering committee,’ or a ‘board of trustees,’ they accompany this project and this dream visualise tool, generously keeping a remote eye on things! It’s a role perhaps akin to the watcher within in meditation practice.

How is Malaysia related to the Isle of Sheppey in Kent?
The Dreamshare Seer as research and artwork is itself structured like a dream. Perhaps applying a ‘dream logic’, bringing apparently disparate elements into a new harmonious relationship, generating new neural connections, is also essential for this project’s collective dream process to come alive?

Differing cultural relationships to dreamwork:
Despite recent neuroscience identifying dreaming’s ‘informational alchemy¹’ and as an important process akin to a ‘backwards google search¹’ the West still mostly perceives dreaming as erratic nonsense.  However, most indigenous communities around the world value dreaming’s extraordinary insights.  In diverse ways they will often apply this knowledge acquired while sleeping to their waking life’s interactions with each other and their environments. And they often do this dream sharing, socially and collectively.
This fluid relationship between dream world and waking world may be particularly significant and developed in Malaysia.

Malaysia’s marginalised indigenous Orang Asli tribes believe that their shared nocturnal dreams are healing communications from their ancestors and Nature, fundamentally guiding these communities’ quotidian and spiritual interactions and ecologies in deeply sustainable ways.  We have a lot to learn from these complex systems of understanding in a global north that seems to have lost its way, going awry.  Perhaps applying the latest AI to dream-sharing, accessing otherwise hidden knowledge, will echo and build from the ancient social role of dreaming among the Orang Asli.

¹ Matthew Walker, Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams (New York, 2017), p 132.

For further information, see our About page.

—————————————————-
For deeper research on the above subject, please also check out our Dream Resources page.

In the future will The Dreamshare Seer be offered to other places and other communities?

Yes! Although The Dreamshare Seer is being pioneered on the Isle of Sheppey, Kent, UK, in the future we would love to work with other places and communities elsewhere in the world. 

These communities could be very specific; eg; people working for a particular organisation in an office in Scotland!
Or we could focus on a larger area containing multiple different communities; eg; the whole of Detroit!
Once The Dreamshare Seer has worked with other communities beyond the Isle of Sheppey we are then able to develop some new research into how one community dreams in relation to another.

Since we’re not for profit we would need to secure funding to do be able adapt this tool and run it in a new location.

Please feel free to contact us if you have any suggestions, or requests about where The Dreamshare Seer might be used next.

We will keep you posted within this section if we have any updates about new locations for The Dreamshare Seer. And if you’ve signed up for our occasional emails we will also let you know via your inbox.

How is The Dreamshare Seer art?

“Yes, how is The Dreamshare Seer art?”

[Asked by Clay, Adam Chodzko’s younger son.]

“Oh, yes,…good question!
You know, I’m totally ok if you don’t think The Dreamshare Seer is art. I’m happy for the project to exist instead as an odd but interesting thing in the world, without it needing to be considered art by anyone else. That’s fine. I’m afraid that I always forget how to answer that question anyway. It’s like ‘not being able to see the wood for the trees’; Through being an artist for over three decades and focusing closely on each artwork as I make it I can easily lose sight of the overview – but, why is this art?!

The lazy way out would be for me to say: It’s made by an artist, with the intention that it’s an artwork. So, that makes it art!
But that’s not very helpful, and it’s not necessarily true.
What makes something art if it doesn’t look like a traditional painting, drawing, or sculpture?  And to make it more complicated, The Dreamshare Seer is a ‘work in progress’. It’s a process that keeps changing. It only becomes something – art – because of a community’s creative participation with it.

…Maybe it will help if I list a few of the things that inspired it?
As a child, every night I tried to put off sleeping as much I could, from an irrational fear of being attacked as I slept. My sleep was always filled with powerful and disturbing dreams, nightmares and sleep paralysis. This usually felt more intense than my experiences in waking life. So, I grew up believing that although we tend to feel that we only exist in our everyday waking realities, we also occupy a sur-reality that parallels this space.
I’ve always been drawn towards the art, films, music, books and of course, lived experiences, that seem to connect us with this other realm of understanding and being. I’ve always been fascinated by that very ancient speculation that this ‘other realm’ is actually our real and natural one.

I began developing The Dreamshare Seer project in early 2022. But it’s in continuity with a lot of my previous work created over the last 30+ years, across a lot of different media, from big sculptures to small drawings. I’ve often worked with the subject of sleep, the night, hauntings, dreaming, hallucinations, perceptions, consciousness, meditation etc, usually exploring these ideas socially, among small groups of people  in specific environments*.
I’ve also sometimes made artworks which include machines and codes that determine aspects of the artwork’s unfolding appearance and meaning.

My art practice is an ongoing question about vision; How can we really deeply, fully see what’s actually there in the world around us? What do we believe we are seeing and what do we actively avoid noticing? The visuality of our dreams and their ambiguity seems to offer a perspective – as well as many questions – about how, why and where we look in waking life.
Dreams and art both appear to offer a free space where ‘anything goes’. In our culture this sense of excessive freedom probably catalyses the public’s widespread suspicion about both contemporary art and dreams; They seem to be nonsense, self-indulgent, pretentious, requiring a small elite of experts to impose meaning, significance and therefore value on them.
I completely understand that suspicion.  So, I hope to explore ways to gain trust.

Art, dreams and AI really came together for me more recently in the following paragraph:
…during REM sleep your brain tests out and builds connections between vast stores of information …using a bizarre algorithm that is biased toward seeking out the most distant, nonobvious associations, rather like a backward Google search.  In ways your waking brain would never attempt, the sleeping brain fuses together disparate sets of knowledge the foster impressive problem-solving abilities…informational alchemy.”
Matthew Walker, Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams (New York, 2017), p 132.

Walker’s description resonated for me because dreams are structured like an artist’s creative process,biased toward seeking out the most distant, nonobvious associations.” I like to think of this “seeking out” as a kind of creative yoga; an extending and stretching to connect our body and minds between differences.  In a time of perma-crises it feels urgent that we practice this bold exercising of imaginations collectively, to discover less destructive ways of co-existing with each other and our world.

As an artwork The Dreamshare Seer has been structured like a dream, with unusual combinations of: information, imagery, communities, interdisciplinary knowledge, place, times and sounds, a stretching between differences, all weaving together to both reflect and evolve an ecology. And of course, while working on The Dreamshare Seer, I began dreaming about it. Not only dreaming about collective dreaming but also dreaming about the structure of this tool and the activity of making it.

Maybe if it doesn’t seem like an artwork you can see it as a space for art, a gallery, an exhibition space, or performance space, a carnival for the celebration of the creative artwork of dreams generated by a community. I hope that as a whole The Dreamshare Seer gives the participant or viewer the experience of witnessing something both enigmatic and beautiful, which I guess are two of the criteria most people would expect from an artwork.

There’s some other stuff too about sleep and dreams during the pandemic. And I’m also really intrigued by the embarrassment we feel – particularly within British culture – when attempting to tell someone about our dream or when hearing a friend tell us their dream.
But,… you seem to have fallen asleep…
…Clay…Clay?”

Adam Chodzko (Feb ’24)

*Over the years I’ve also made a number of artworks in relation to places and communities specifically on the Isle of Sheppey. Please see our Sheppey Resources for a list of these works.

See a text about this project by Martin Herbert, a leading art critic: Dream Theory on Sheppey – Martin Herbert 

See also:
FAQ: What is unique about The Dreamshare Seer, and what are we hoping to discover?
FAQ: What is the connection between generative AI and the function of dreaming?
FAQ: What is the role of the Malaysian group attached to The Dreamshare Seer?
FAQ: What does the position of the dreams in the Dream Cloud mean? How are they clustering together?

—————————————————-
For deeper research on the above subject, please also check out our Dream Resources page.

How could The Dreamshare Seer be used scientifically?

The answer to this FAQ is currently being written, by Josie M. (24.4.24)

—————————————————-
For deeper research on the above subject, please also check out our Dream Resources page.

What are dreams?

“There are many ways that dreaming could be defined, but according to the field of “oneirology” – that is, the scientific study of dreaming – dreams are any conscious experiences that we have during sleep, often comprising a mixture of our memories (i.e. things we have actually done, seen, or experienced) and our imaginations (i.e. completely new things we have never encountered before).

These conscious experiences vary so widely that it’s impossible to state exactly what any one dream is like; but, typically, dreams tend to be visual simulations of some kind of virtual world, which feel completely real whilst they’re playing out. We are usually the main player in the dream, and we are immersed in its virtual reality. Dreams may feel like they form a narrative or story, though dream scenes often suddenly chop and change in bizarre ways. Dreams are often emotional, often involve other people, and often feel very strange to recall once we’ve woken up.

Although every dream is unique to the dreamer, there are some common dream themes that most people will dream about at some point in their lives. One of these themes is threat or misfortune; one of the most commonly experienced dreams is of being chased by something that means you harm. Other common dreams include being late for something; falling; being attacked; losing your teeth; and failing an exam.

When we are having a dream, that dream is our reality; it is as real to us then as waking reality is to us now. For this reason, we prefer not to contrast dreams with “real life” – instead, we think about dreams as another form of reality. There’s the “daytime” reality we experience when we’re awake, and then there’s the sleeping, dreaming reality we experience at night.”

Dr Josie Malinowski,  (oneirologist (dream researcher) based in London, UK.  Josie has published over 20 academic articles on her dream research and has published a book, The Psychology of Dreaminga brief introduction to the science and psychology of dreaming).
For more information: See Josie’s section on our About page.

—————————————————-
For deeper research on the above subject, please also check out our Dream Resources page.

Will this tool help me with lucid dreaming?

Perhaps, but enabling lucid dreaming is not the aim of this tool!

Lucid dreaming occurs when you achieve an awareness within your dream that you are in the midst of dreaming.
Sometimes you can feel that you have some “control” of your dream and you may be able to change the characters within your dream, the dream environment, or even the storyline.
The potential benefits could be reducing the intensity and anxiety produced by nightmares.

On the other hand, the desire to control our dreams could be seen as an extension of our colonising and extractive behaviours!  Perhaps what makes our dreams so extraordinary is that they are beyond our control and a nightly reminder of the limits of what the human can dominate?

Also, please see FAQ:  I want to know what my dream means?  Can you interpret my dream?

—————————————————-
For deeper research on the above subject, please also check out our Dream Resources page.

Where can I get help if I have insomnia, difficulty sleeping, nightmares, etc?

In what ways does The Dreamshare Seer address ethical considerations, environmental responsibilities, and access needs?

Our world can feel increasingly amiss through our continuing lack of care towards diverse others, both human and more-than-human.  We urgently need to address the inequalities and destructive structures lying within our anthropocentrism.  We can partly resolve this through addressing the ethics, inclusivity and environmental responsibilities of our actions.

The Dreamshare Seer project hopes to make a positive contribution to a community’s well-being. We created it focussing on ecologies of connection; connecting a community in unusual ways – through dreaming! – connecting a wider public to that specific community, connecting dreams based on their content, connecting dreams with AI, connecting all this with contemporary art, and trying to connect the meshwork of these processes and understandings with indigenous knowledge (particularly of the Malaysian Orange Asli), etc.  All these connections need to be made with care, ethically applying a system of moral principles that shape our understanding as to how our actions (and words) might have only positive impacts on the world around us.

This project interacts with diverse people, AI and dreams. Rightly, there is huge concern about the need for an ethically regulated use of AI. Of course, dream content can sometimes feel very free of ethics, but it is essential for us to use care in the social spaces of our waking realities.  Fortunately, we have some excellent ethics guidance from Leeds Beckett University (where artist, Adam Chodzko is working on his practice-led PhD with The Dreamshare Seer project as its focus).  The University’s ethics committee ensures that any research project they host is conducted according to the highest standards: a) Has a benefit to society, either directly or by generally improving human knowledge and understanding. b) Minimises risk to individual participants, the researcher, the university or associated partners. c) Is conducted honestly and transparently. d) Is accurate and accessible. e) Protects its participants, ensuring safety and wellbeing. f) Follows relevant data protection and management requirement.
Fortunately, the ethics committee granted approval to The Dreamshare Seer project.

Part of our ethics is managed through the ways in which we interact with you, with  much of the detail listed in our Participation Information and our Privacy Policy.

Accessibility:
Please see our Accessibility Statement.  For further inclusivity it is also possible to share dreams using other languages, and to speak a dream description instead of having to write it down. We are creating alt tags for all images on our site.  And of course, the creative process of dreaming is pretty much accessible to everyone!

Environmental Impacts: We are trying to address any negative environmental impacts The Dreamshare Seer might have through its design processes.
On the one hand, we have dreaming as a creative process with an unusually low carbon footprint! And on the other is AI, an energy-intensive technology of extraction. (See: Kate Crawford’s book “Atlas of AI”*). Global regulation is needed to minimise AI’s negative environmental impacts and apply it  to positive uses, e.g. examining data on greenhouse gas emissions, weather patterns, and other environmental factors, designing more energy-efficient buildings, exposing and solving social inequalities, etc.

*As part of this regulation of AI: “We have to say also: Where are the civil society groups, where are the activists, where are the advocates who are addressing issues of climate justice, labor rights, data protection? How do we include them in these discussions? How do we include affected communities?”
Karen Hao: review of Kate Crawford’s “Atlas of AI.”

What, when and where is the physical public exhibition of this project on Sheppey? What is the single collective dream of the island?

We are still finalising the exact details for this, but, by the end of 2024, we will make a public exhibition at a venue on the Island, . This will celebrate the Sheppey community’s shared dreams, projecting them onto a screen, to allow their further exploration by the public.
We will be showing a single collective dream of, and for, the Isle of Sheppey.  This will be built from and guided by the shared dream themes that the Island seems to be generating.

We will keep you posted within this section when we have updates about the exhibition and the Island’s single collective dream.

And if you’ve signed up for our occasional emails we will also let you know via your inbox.

 

Troubleshooting

This video is a handy guide for how
The Dreamshare Seer should look and function.

The Dreamshare Seer seems to consistently function best on a laptop/desktop computer using the Chrome browser. However, it is currently running smoothly through the Safari* and Firefox browsers.(24.4.24)

Safari, and iPhone using Chrome of Safari:  The voice message function for dream sharing doesn’t seem to work currently on iPhones. (24.4.24). We are working on a fix!  I
t works fine in Chrome on a computer, though.

NB: videos don’t autoplay when you’re in the low battery mode; On an iPhone if the battery bar is yellow, certain features are blocked to preserve power.

*Macbook/iMac:  Dream Cloud doesn’t load at all in: Safari Version 15.2    OS Monterey 12.1

Older Mac’s may struggle too:
Macbook Air (early 2014), OS 10.10.5 (2017) Yosemite, using Chrome: Dream Library and Dream Cloud won’t load, and individual dreams are greyed out.

Android:

Samsung Galaxy: In our tests a S23 5G worked well. But there were issues when using a A53 5G.

Samsung Galaxy Tablet (2022), with Microsoft Edge: all good!

 

A forest floor at night, showing a dark, powdery, red pigmented, dry earth, and a circular pool of blood.